Keeping up with Keller

By: Marcie Dryden, Principal

January 20, 2023

Mission Statement

The mission of Helen Keller Elementary School is to establish and maintain an educational community that empowers all students to become principled, independent inquirers who are socially responsible global citizens.


Do you want to see what's going on at Keller? Check out my Facebook page where I frequently post pictures and share events that are happening within the Keller Community. Click on the button below to go right to my page!

Follow Principal Dryden on Facebook

Click this button to go to my Facebook page.


*January 25: 2023 Kindergarten Information Night

*January 27: No School - Records Day

*February 1, 8, 15: Late Start for Students/Professional Learning for Staff

* February 3: Report Cards Go Live on Parent Portal

*February 10: PTA Family Event

*February 13: PTA Meeting (Virtual)

*February 15: PAC Meeting

*February 20-21: No School/Mid-Winter Break

*February 23: 4th Grade Concert


Our hearing screening dates for grades DK, K, 2, 4 and special education students at Keller are scheduled for February 2, 3, 6 and 7.


Our 2nd Marking Period is ending on Thursday, January 26. Report Cards will be available to view online starting Saturday, February 4.

Big picture


Royal Oak Schools is pleased to welcome children and their families to kindergarten. Kindergarten enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year begins on Thursday, January 26, 2023. District-wide enrollment for all kindergarten programs, including Developmental Kindergarten, is processed through our Central Enrollment Office. Elementary transfer requests will be between January 26 - February 28, 2023. And please make sure to mark your calendar for Kindergarten Information Night on January 25, 2023, which will be in person at each building.

Things to know:

  • Royal Oak Schools processes new student enrollments online at
  • Michigan State Law stipulates that a child be five (5) years of age on or before September 1 in order to enroll in Kindergarten and Developmental Kindergarten for the 2023-2024 school year. If a child is not five (5) years of age by the September 1 enrollment eligibility date, but will be five (5) years of age no later than December 1, an option for parents or guardians to enroll the child in kindergarten for the 2023-2024 school year is available.
  • An Age Waiver form is available on our district website.
  • Please feel free to call the Enrollment Office for further information.
Big picture


We hope you can join us for our "Trivia Night" fundraiser on March 3 at Club Venetian Banquet Center. To make this a successful event and help feed our Royal Oak food-insecure school children within our Royal Oak Schools, we are actively looking for sponsors. Please check out the below flyer with our current opportunities. Please reach out if you or your corporation is interested! Thank you from the bottom of my

Tickets are $45/person or $400 for a table of 10.


Big picture


Over the course of the 2022-23 school year, we invite all stakeholders - district leaders, staff, students, parents, business owners, community members, and the Board of Education of Royal Oak Schools to help us engage in a long-range planning process. It is important to serve the needs of our community by building a strategic plan that reflects the priorities of all members.

Next Meeting:

January 31st 6-8:00pm 800 Devillen Royal Oak, MI 48073

PTA Corner

Hi PTA friends!

Here's the scoop on some important upcoming news.

  • 02/06 PTA Council Founder's Day Dinner, 6pm at Club Venetian Banquet Center
  • 02/10 Family Dance, 6:30-8:30pm in the Keller gym
  • 02/13 PTA Meeting, virtual, via Zoom
  • 02/15 Restaurant Night, ALL DAY, at Buffalo Wild Wings in Royal Oak

The Royal Oak PTA Council invites PTA members to attend the annual Founder's Day Dinner on Monday, February 6 at 6pm at Club Venetian Banquet Center. We will celebrate the work of all the PTAs, listen to a guest speaker from the community, and honor PTA members while enjoying dinner and drinks. 6pm reception, 7pm dinner, 8pm awards and honors.

Tickets cost $30, but the Keller PTA will cover half the cost of our members, making it only $15 per person! Drinks are cash bar. To RSVP please email Carie by January 25th.

The Nominating Committee is looking for volunteers to join the Executive Board for the 2023-2024 school year. Being on the Board is a rewarding experience and a great way to make connections with other families and with the Keller staff. You can really make a difference in the lives of Keller students! Please email Member-At-Large John Staniszewski for more information.

Plans are underway for a few fun PTA events! We will have our family event on 02/10 (details coming soon!) and our Talent Show Auditions on March 1st & 2nd in the Keller cafeteria. We are also planning an International Food and Fun Festival (IFFF) for March 10, 2023. We will share those plans as soon as they are solidified and approved.

Planning has started for the Silent Auction, which will be held online and in person in conjunction with the IFFF on March 10th. Our Chairs, Laura and James, are looking to offer some interesting items and fun experiences to make this auction a success. Do you own a business, provide a service, or have items you are willing to donate? Do you have a personal connection to someone who may want to donate? If you would like to provide the PTA with a tax-exempt donation or have questions about our Auction, please email our committee. Thanks for your consideration!

Parking lot: Please be aware that the drop-off lane is truly for drop-off only. Please do not sit, idle, park, or get out of your car in the drop-off lane. When picking up students at the end of the day, do not pull up and wait for your student to jump in the car. This creates a blockage of the 400-plus students exiting the building, impairs visual lines, and creates a safety hazard. Find a spot to park, or pull forward *past* the crosswalk to have your student meet you away from the building. Share this information with anyone who picks up your student.

PTA purchased some safety items for the main parking lot. Items include "no parking" cones, "drop-off zone" signs, and speed bumps, which will be out in the lot during warmer-weather months. We appreciate your help in keeping our parking lot safe for all pedestrians.

Shop our Spirit Wear store for yourself, your student, a family member, or a Keller staff member. They offer clothing, hats, bags, and more!

If you're on Facebook, consider following our page. We post a lot of helpful information, including a "Snapshot Sunday" that hits every Sunday night and gives you a preview of the week ahead. Don't do social media? No problem! Our website also houses tons of information, including the Facebook feed on our homepage that stays up-to-date.

Please visit our website regularly to keep informed of all things PTA and Keller Elementary.

On there you will find:

All My Best,

Carie Hooker, President

Big picture


Chess Wizards winter session starts on January 11, 2023. Young Rembrandts will start on February 1, 2023. A spring session of Chess Wizards will start on April 19, 2023.


The lane closest to the sidewalk is a drop-off lane. This is for drop-off ONLY. There is no parking, stopping, standing, or idling at any time. Please find a parking spot when picking up your student.

When parked in the drop-off lane, it blocks the view, exits, and flow of 400+ students leaving the building. Thank you for keeping our lot safe for pedestrians!

Please refer to my previous Principal Dryden's newsletters and to the Keller handbook on the district website:


Help keep our students and pedestrians safe! Please refrain from parking on the yellow lined zones in the parking lot. It is difficult to see oncoming traffic when you imped our pedestrian's vision when trying to cross the parking lot to the sidewalk.


If you haven't done so already it's not too late! Remember As an IB PYP World School, we want to know more about our families and their rich and interesting cultural heritage. With this information, our school can be mindful of ways to build on our students’ home cultures; as well as educate others as Global Citizens! Thank you for your participation! All questions are optional.

HKE Family Culture Survey


Please be aware that our after-school latchkey program uses the playgrounds each day, starting around 4 p.m. If you decide to stay on school grounds after dismissal please avoid those areas being used by the latchkey program. This will allow our staff to monitor our after-school care kids and ensure safety.

Big picture
Dr. Kim's Corner

Click the button to find where Dr. Martin will promote understanding and share dialogue and events centered on diversity, equity, and inclusion in and around our district.


Although we love our furry friends at Keller, we are not permitted to have dogs on the premises before, during or after school. Besides it being a District policy more importantly it is to support our students who are anxious or have a fear of dogs (big or small.) We want our students to feel comfortable arriving and being dismissed from school without feeling unsafe.


Please use the link below if you haven't requested a Chromebook for your child in GRADES 1-5.

Chromebook Agreement Form


Just a reminder that school lunches cost $2.60. We do have applications for Free and Reduced Lunches:

Free and Reduced-Price Meals Application

Complete this application and return it to the school. This must be done every year in order to qualify. We also have additional applications in the office if you are unable to print one.


All absences should be called in to the Safety Check number. Absences that are not reported are considered unexcused.

Safety Check number 248-542-6500 option #1


Please do not park in the handicapped parking spots if you do not have a handicapped permit. We do have families with disabilities that need to use those spots designated for them. Thank you.


Students should not be dropped off before 8:15 a.m. unless they are supervised by an adult. We do not have supervision prior to this time. Thank you for your cooperation.
Big picture


It is requested that all adults who are arriving and departing from the school be particularly cautious and mindful of the children and adult pedestrians in the school vicinity at all times. The safety of our entire school community depends upon the care and concern of all of us.

Please follow these safety precautions in the parking lot:

*DO NOT PARK or STAND in the drop off lane at the end of the school day.

*Obey all traffic signs and follow traffic flow.

*Please refrain from cell phone calls and texting while driving.

*Drop-off area – there is one lane of drop-off.

*Pull all the way forward to the end of the lane before dropping or picking up children. Do not back up in the pick-up lane.

*Students should enter and be ready to exit on the passenger side of the vehicle only.

*Do not exit your vehicle, thus parking in the drop-off and pick-up only lane, even if it is to run to the door or drop off a project. If you must exit your vehicle you need to park in a parking spot.

*Adults and students should remain on sidewalks and cross at crosswalks only. It is difficult to see children in the parking lot between vehicles.

*Park in a handicap parking spot only if you have a valid and visible permit


“Blessings in a Backpack” is a program designed to provide students on the free and reduced lunch program with enough food for three meals a day during the weekends. This program, administered by the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester, is active in Royal Oak Schools. If you agree to take part in this program during the school year, your child will receive a bag filled with food for the weekend. A bag of food will be put in your child's locker for take home on Fridays. The simple meals may include food like macaroni and cheese, beef ravioli, canned fruit, granola bars, soups, juice and other items. Students will receive a bag every week.

If you would like to have your child participate in this program, fill out the form below and mail it to the board office at 800 Devillen, Royal Oak, MI 48073, or just hit submit on this form. Please be sure to indicate on the form if you child has any food allergies. If your child has a food allergy, you as the parent are responsible for checking all food labels when the food arrives home. Royal Oak Schools, as well as Blessings in a Backpack, will not be held responsible for any accidental food allergen exposure.


This form is to sign up for free meals on the weekends provided by Blessings in a Backpack.


This is mandatory for all students- Parents and Guardians, please complete it ASAP. Call Mrs. Kaiser in the main office if you have any questions.


This form must be completed each year. Please complete as soon as possible and allow two weeks to process.


This is on Late Start Wednesdays only. Students who are signed up will enter at 8:20 am through the main office. You must sign up by 9/14 for the first semester.

2022-2023 CALENDAR

A calendar for the 2022-2023 school year is now available! Click on this button for building and program specific calendars, as well as a complete calendar for our current school year.

Remember to like Keller's PTA page on Facebook

Click on this button to take you to our Facebook page.


Positive Behavior Intervention System

Essential Agreements

*We are respectful

*We are safe and in control

*We are responsible learners

Keller Creed

I will act in such a way that I will be proud of myself and others will be proud of me too.

I came to school to learn and I will learn.

I will have a good day.

Learner Profile Highlights

Don’t forget that the highlighted monthly learner profile and weekly behavior focus is on the Google calendar (every Sunday).